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Doctors: Training

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 263056, tabled on 11 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on the economy of the number of people undertaking doctoral training.

Answered on

17 June 2019

The Government’s target to reach a total of 2.4% of GDP invested in R&D by 2027 will mean increasing the numbers of highly trained people working in research and innovation including those undertaking doctoral training.

Business-academia collaborations, decisions by internationally mobile companies to locate their R&D functions in the UK and the development of industrial clusters of companies all rely on access to pools of talented researchers. In addition, industrial clusters, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, are often co-located in regions where there are also high quality research intensive universities. This co-location enables the flow of graduates and post-graduates between institutions and companies.

More broadly, a 2015 review on the impacts of doctoral training found that the overwhelming majority of doctoral graduates continued to be involved in the creation of new knowledge, innovation and development of new products and processes, both in the academic and business sectors. Employers highly valued the specialists knowledge and problem-solving skills possessed by doctoral graduates.

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